Mehmet V. Yigit, MS

Hometown: Istanbul, Turkey

Degree earned at WPI: MS, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Degrees earned from other institutions: PhD, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Why did you choose to attend WPI?
WPI is a great environment for working and making friends. It has small class sizes and therefore good interaction among the students and teachers. Its location makes WPI strong. It is close to Boston and New York; therefore, collaboration with many institutions is possible, and finding jobs in this populated area is easier. It is also a very friendly environment, which you realize when you enroll.

Present job title and employer: Postdoctoral fellow, Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital How did your experiences at WPI prepare you for graduate school?
My graduate studies in WPI helped me to prepare myself for the rest of my career. My supervisor, John MacDonald, spent a significant amount of his time to train me, not only as a graduate student but also as an independent scientist. He was a very supportive advisor. I was trained to perform experiments by myself, analyze the data, and write papers. John was always there when I needed him and was willing to spend time to answer my questions. Such time commitment is not always seen in other institutions.

Besides doing research, I developed teaching skills during my graduate studies. Having teaching experience is a must for becoming successful in an academic career. Therefore, I believe WPI played a remarkable role in my life and career. WPI gave me a vision of science. I received my PhD degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2008, and I am currently at Harvard Medical School as a postdoctoral fellow. I am still in touch with John, and he never hesitates to provide support whenever I need it. WPI was not a two-year experience for me. It has been always there to support me.

How has WPI’s philosophy of Theory and Practice, and working with teams, prepared you for facing real-world challenges in the workplace or graduate school?
WPI has small departments, and the interaction between students was very strong. Especially, graduate students and postdocs in a department were more that friends. It was like a big family. Since everyone was so friendly, it was easy to get help from other groups in the department easily.

Groups or extracurricular activities you participated in at WPI:
We were playing soccer almost every weekend. We had a good soccer team in the chemistry department.

Academic or professional awards you have received:

  • World Molecular Imaging Congress 2011, Best Poster Award, Session II
  • World Molecular Imaging Congress 2011 Travel
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